United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1884
Report of agent in Colorado, pp. 18-20 PDF (1.1 MB)
18N REPORT OF AGENT IN COLORADO. SANITARY. I can see a marked improvement in their sanitary condition over that of my first acquaintance with them, eight years since. Early marriages, insisted upon by the Catholic priest, though it has somewhat interfered with the interest of the school, has no doubt contributed to their sanitary benefit. To the credit of these Indians, it must be said no half-breed or illegitimate child can be lound among them under ten years of age. CIVILIZATION. All that can truthfully be said upon this topic has perhaps been anticipated in the foregoing statements, and yet I wish to add that the results growing out of the "rules governing the court of Indian offenses" have been most salutary in begetting a con- viction that any aberration, however trivial, is likely to be noticed, and that a per- fectly upright, honest course is the only guarantee to true civilization. I am, sir, N ery respectfully, your obedient servant, C. G. BELKNAP, United States Indian Agent. The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AGENTS. SOUTHERN UTE AGENCY, COLORADO, Aiuginst 25, 1884. SIR: I have the honor to submit my third annual report of the condition of affairs at this agency. INDIANS. The Southern Utes number 991. The reservation is situated in Southwestern Colo- rado, and embraces a strip of country 15 by 120 miles, well watered, and is well adapted fur grazing purposes. STOCK RAISING. in the way of horses, is quite extensively carried on by some of the Indians. All have more or less. They take great pride in accumulating numbers. They take to sheep raising very well. However, the last year's results of this industry have been dis- couraging, but I do not nor cannot blame the Indians for their actions. In May, 1883, the Department furnished them with 4,800 ewes. They were well pleased with the gift, and showed marked interest in caring for them, but, owing to the limited supply of provisions fur ished them, they were compelled to subsist on the sheep or starve. They preferred the former, and the result is that not more than 1,500of the sheep are now left. AGRICULTURE. This is the first time in the history of this agency that the agent could say any- thing on this subject. These Indians have always opposed any movement which was made in this direction until last spring, wheui I succeeded in getting four of the head men to engage in tarming on a small scale. Their number was increased by volunteers until now there are some 15 Indians interested in farming. There are only four farms opened, but this i3 sufficient for the present year. They have 50 acres of wheat, 40 acres of oats, and 8 acres of potatoes. The prospects for a good crop is very gratify- ing. The wheat is estimated at 30 bushels per acre (1,500 bushels); oats at 40 bushels per acre (1,600 bushels); a large yield of potatoes is a certainty. It is my opinion that with proper assistance there can be at least 50 Indians farming next year. WHISKY TRAFFIC. This is carried on with the Indians, in violation of law, by certain white men in Durango, to such an extent that at times the situation becomes alarming. On one oc- casion this summer there were about 35 drunken Indians at the agency. Owing to the fact that I have no guard-house or place of confinement, they all went unpunished.
As a work of the United States government, this material is in the public domain.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright